Singaporebrides | Inspirations
Phillane and Jeff’s Charming and Casual Wedding Anniversary Photoshoot
Wedding stylist and founder of Med Kärlek Inc., Phillane, shares with us the story behind her successful marriage and career.
Phillane Cheng, founder of and wedding & prop stylist at Med Kärlek Inc., first met husband Jeff Siaw over a decade ago at a church camp. While it wasn’t love at first sight, the more she got to know him, the more attracted she was to him. And on 29 October 2011, Phillane and Jeff tied the knot. With their seventh wedding anniversary approaching, the pair of lovebirds embarked on not one, but two photoshoots to celebrate their love and marriage. Read on to find out how Phillane styled her own wedding and anniversary photoshoots, and her secret to a long-lasting relationship and marriage.
So, what was it that drew you to each other?
Phillane: It definitely wasn’t love in first sight. But as I started to know more about him, I was exceptionally drawn to his loyalty and love for his friends and family and his passion for Christ.
Jeff: Her infectious laughter and joyful personality. Phillane also has the natural ability to make friends with everyone and anyone. A very endearing trait.
What do you love most about each other?
Phillane: His quiet and stable personality. Like my dad, he is a man with few words but huge on action. He shows love to the people around him with his actions and he never asks for recognition or appreciation.
Jeff: She is the complete opposite of me and complements me in the areas that I sometimes fall short of. She is passionate about her work, loyal to her friends and devoted to her family. She is also great with a paintbrush and is able to spot an out of place colour from a mile away.Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co.
Your wedding anniversary is just around the corner. Tell us, what’s married (and mom!) life like? Do you have some tips to share with newlyweds on how you keep the love alive with work and motherhood keeping you busy?
Phillane: Jeff and I will be married for seven years this October. I feel very blessed and comfortable. It takes effort to be comfortable and contented. Now, I am contented, in fact, very happy. I’ve learnt that being “boring” and “stable” is a kind of love too.
I have also learnt, that there is no such things as balance. It is and will always be a struggle. But being purposeful with my time has helped. Being intentional with the time I have to set aside. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. When it’s time to spend time with my family, we switch off all modes of communication from work. It is hard because my work is my baby too, but if we don’t intentionally set time aside, we lose ourselves in our “mess”. It also helps that I have very supportive family and friends who are always there when we need an extra hand with my son or work.
And as cheesy as it sounds, always tell each other how much you love each other. It’s not about date nights but keeping an open communication with each other.Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co.
To celebrate your anniversary, you went on two photoshoots. Tell us more about them – where did you go and what was the concept behind the shoots?
Phillane: We did one in Bali and another in Singapore! We were in Bali for a work trip and decided to do a shoot of our own to celebrate our anniversary. The one in Bali, was an adventure in its own. We had no makeup artist, no hair stylist, so we did everything on our own, in the dark. Because the villa we were in blacked out the night before, it affected the lightings. There were also no mirrors around, so we used all the resources we had – compact powder mirrors, small foldable mirrors, phone cameras and so on just to have a glimpse of how we look like. It was really an experience!
We were climbing on rocks and sandy beaches in my gown, just to get to the right spot. The whole time, I was praying hard that I wouldn’t tear my gown. Multifolds Photography was able to make us feel very comfortable and we had a lot of fun hanging out. I also really love the gown designed and made by Juillet Official. They were able to grasp what I like and made the dress flattering to my post-partum body. Everything just came together so nicely and I am so glad we pulled through.
For the shoot in Bali, we wanted to keep the palette clean and fuss-free. Less like a wedding shoot and more like a shoot to celebrate us. We love the sea and wanted it by the rocks and waves. The fabric of the gown played a big part because we wanted it to go with the flow of the water and wind. We wanted the shoot to be fun and natural.
For the one in Singapore, we wanted it to be a little more serious because my husband is a very quiet and serious man, and we wanted it to be a reflection of his personality in the shoot. So, we chose to do the shoot in the CBD on a Sunday morning, a spin-off of our pre-wedding shoot done along Orchard Road, to show another side of our relationship. Renee from Just Like Magic Co. was pretty much a darling. It never feels like a shoot when we are with her because she makes us feel very happy and comfortable.Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co.
What was your most memorable moments from the photoshoots?
Phillane: For the Bali shoot, we were on the beach and the tide was coming in. We were quite worried that the tide would come in too fast or mess up our clothes and the photos would show. But after a few attempts, we gave up worrying and just allowed the tide to come in and literally engulf us. That was when the photos were the most natural and beautiful.
The CBD shoot was more predictable but when the cleaner almost threw my shoes away and my husband had to run after him to get them back – that was pretty funny.Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co. Photography by Renee from Just Like Magic Co.
Take us back to your wedding day. Did you style your own wedding?
Phillane: While I was not a wedding stylist back then, we pretty much styled our own wedding because we didn’t want the usual cookie-cutter designs and decor for our big day. We wanted a theme that reflected both of us so we went with two different themes for our holy matrimony and dinner banquet.
We styled our church wedding with bright coloured flowers, pinwheels, paper fans and paper flowers, a reflection of my cheery and joyful traits. Also, because I was an art teacher, using handicraft as part of the set-up was very natural for us. Our wedding favours were art materials and stationery that guests can bring home after the holy matrimony. We also replaced the traditional flower brooches for the groom and groomsmen with mini pinwheels and had bridesmaids walk down the aisle with pinwheel bouquets too!
For the dinner banquet, we wanted it to be a formal and black tie event, a reflection of Jeff’s traits, so our set-up was inspired by the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and requested for our guests to come dressed in formal attire. Our table linen were black and the flowers were all white. Thankfully, our family was supportive of the idea and came dressed to the theme.
Jeff: The actual wedding day flew past really quickly. We were rushing from one place to another and hardly had any time to stop and feel much. I guess we were running on adrenaline and we did not have much sleep in the week leading up to the wedding as we were busy preparing for the decor and ensuring that everything was taken care of. Nonetheless, we were glad that we always had each other’s company and were happy to share our joy with our family and friends.Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography
Was your wedding the impetus behind the birth of Med Kärlek Inc. start?
Phillane: No, it wasn’t my wedding that turned me into a wedding stylist. Before Med Kärlek Inc., I was running an art studio back in 2014. Although I have always been in graphics design and the events industry, building a brand of my own was never in the talks until I took part in my very first wedding show at Food for Thought at the Botanic Gardens. Back then, I reached out to them for our holiday programme and in the midst of discussing, they suggested for us to be part of their upcoming wedding show. After thinking about it, I gathered a few good friends and tried our best to make it happen. One thing led to another, and here we are today.
After that wedding show, it felt like I found a job that combines all my passion – design, events and teaching (when we do workshops). Though I am an introvert, I enjoy meeting people in small cosy settings so when couples become supportive friends, to me, it’s the biggest takeaway. An opportunity came, we grabbed and ran with it, but it was a choice we made as a family to keep this small business going. Being able to do what I love and to be able to be there for my son and husband is what keeps me going every day.Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography Photography by Renee from Multifolds Photography
Share with us one of your toughest challenges and most fulfilling moments since Med Kärlek Inc. started.
Phillane: One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered is the pressure I put on myself to bring only the best to the table for every assignment. I am very hard on myself when things don’t go as planned and I take things a little too seriously at times. One of the most fulfilling moments I’ve had at Med Kärlek Inc. so far is the look on my client’s face when they’ve walked into the venue we have worked on. I wish I could take a photo of their faces and keep it in an album. I want to be able to take it out and remind myself why I do what I do.
The Location: Bali, Suluban Beach and Ann Siang House, Singapore
The Photographer: Renee from Multifolds Photography (Bali) and Renee from Just Like Magic Co. (Singapore)
The Bride’s Outfit: Juillet Official and Bride’s own
The Groom’s Outfit: Groom’s own
The Stylist: Med Kärlek Inc.
The Hair and Makeup Artist: Bride did her own (Bali) and The Makeup Room (Singapore)
The Wedding Florist: Bloomen
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